Disappointment with new SCI Ethics Complaint Procedures

Western Expedition

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I booked a hunt with a vendor who is really active with Safari Club International (SCI) and had some significant problems with him including: deceit, intentional misstatements and misrepresentation of the facts. Last week I filed an Ethics Complaint against the vendor. Yesterday I heard back from SCI that they have changed their Ethic Complaint procedures as of January 28, 2011 and are now charging a $500 fee to file a complaint. $500! And this is simply to protect other hunters from working with this guy. I’m not seeking any financial damages through the complaint. It’s definitely a pro-vendor position. Make it too expensive and people won’t file a complaint. It is a really disappointing shift for an organization that I have had a lot of respect for in the past. So… don’t think you are in good hands just because you book a hunt at the Convention or with some guy that visits your local chapter. Ironically, I received my renewal membership card in the mail today along with an SCI sticker. Sarcastically, I’m thinking they need to change their tag line to “SCI – First for Whoever Pays Our Bills” because they certainly appear to care less about the actual hunters these days.
 

M. Egan

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Hey Eric,
I would suggest that you air your greivences here. I would also suggest that you are fair and careful with your critique, Keep an open mind and ask him to give his side of things on this site also.

I might have to do the same in the near future. I have been waiting almost a year for my trophies to be shipped from Zim. The outfitter has a dispute with the concession holder and I am the ransome.
I won't go into details until I have exhausted all other avenues available to me. I don't want to tarnish anyones reputation undeservidably. If I have to go this route, I will notify all parties concerned and suggest that you do the same.
Your concerns with SCI are legitimate and need to be followed up. I will def. bring this up at my next SCI function.
Bad operators need to be exposed but operators need to be protected from unfair accusations also. Some outfitter rating web-sites give this balance. The internet makes this a small world, in both good and bad ways.
My 2 cents, Mike
 

Western Expedition

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Thanks Mike. I've been on this since 2008. And now have the facts straight. I appreciate your kind criticism but this is real and I've zeroed in on who is at fault. SCI was helpful along the way in recovering my trophies. But it took a lot of time and effort on my part and I learned the real story along the journey. Luckily, the booking agent in question and I live in the same metro area and I can pursue him through our court system. Not every hunter will have that luxury. And I hold my position that SCI has just swung heavily towards the vendors.
 
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I just found out a few days ago that SCI was charging $500 to file a complaint, Why this much? Is there this much labor involved or are they greedy, not sure but not thrilled with this.
 

M. Egan

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Thanks Jerome.
I remember reading this thread in the past. (I remember now that I have read it again) Eric handled things in a profesional patient manner. I'm happy to see that Eric doesn't let things go because it's easier to do so. I will use him as an inspiration. Way to do things the right way.

Cheers and thanks, Mike
 

Western Expedition

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Read for yourself

I thought everyone might appreciate seeing exactly what the SCI Ethics documents say:

“…Ethics Committee does not act as a collection agent for the complaining party and does not require the repayment of deposits, the delivery of hunting trophies or the settlement of disputes over the performance of contracts.”

So, this pretty much neutralizes the ability of an Ethics Complaint to recover financial damages.

“…[ ] A violation of the Sportsmen’s Code of Ethics or a violation of a specific policy relating to hunting that has been promulgated by the Board of Directors:
• [processing fee: $ 200]

[ ] A violation of law relating to hunting or wildlife conservation that has been finally adjudicated, including all appeals, pursuant to the laws of a state, province or country and that has resulted in one or more of the following: the loss of hunting privileges for more than one year, a jail sentence of more than one year, or a fine of more than $5,000.
• [processing fee: $ 0]

[ ] conduct in relation to a hunt or a contract or agreement for a hunt involving:
(i) deceit;
(ii) willful ignorance or recklessness;
(iii) intentional misstatement or misrepresentation;
(iv) civil or criminal fraud;
(v) exposure of the hunter or those accompanying the hunter to physical danger beyond that ordinarily considered part of a hunt;
• [processing fee: $ 500]

[ ] Refusing, after written demand has been made, to honor a financial obligation to SCI or the SCI Foundation
• [processing fee: $ 0]”


Ah, where to begin. So a vendor could send you out on what ends up being an illegal hunt and you have no recourse unless you are caught and the penalties against you are extreme. But you can’t do anything if the hunt is illegal and you are not caught. And basically a vendor can tell you anything, even put your life in danger, but it will cost you the maximum fee of $500 to submit an Ethics Claim. In comparison, it doesn’t cost anything to file a claim if a vendor doesn’t make good on a financial obligation to either SCI or SCI Foundation. I could go on and on.

These are the facts. Make what you want of them.
 

Bushbuck

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“…Ethics Committee does not act as a collection agent for the complaining party and does not require the repayment of deposits, the delivery of hunting trophies or the settlement of disputes over the performance of contracts.”
I don't quite understand then, What exactly are they collecting money for?

I have been a life member of SCI for many years. Regardless of what you may think about Mark Sullivan, SCI has been disappointing me ever since they screwed him. This is just another example. Now I wont even get my Safari Times newspaper that I paid for. I guess the complimentary hunting trips for the big boys must be getting more expensive.
 

35bore

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Bushbuck, Mark Sullivan would not go into detail with me about his expultion from SCI, but, I was about 3 oz. of ink from signing up with them when he contacted me, and told me he was expelled. I could only sit there in aww,. When you look at how many thousands of dollars he contrubuted, it's just amazing. I commend is thier record keeping throughout the world though.
 

Bushbuck

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35Bore, go to his site, he explains the story of what he went thru and it is pretty sad as I read it. No class at all from SCI on that one.
 

Bushbuck

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Bushbuck, I commend is thier record keeping throughout the world though.

Well, thats a whole other story. I commend them for fighting to keep us hunting. I will be honest with you, I dont think much of the trophy record keeping thing. I dont mind those that do, and I am not finding fault with them, it is just not for me. The people in the books are the people that paid to be there. It is not a celebration of the animal IMO, it is a celebration of the hunter. If you pay your money, you make the book. If you take a trophy animal and dont pay the money, well you are not in the book. I hav taken many animals that would have made there top 20 and even some from Africa in the top 5. I have never sent in one score sheet or one payment for a trophy or medal. Its just not for me. I am sure there are many more guys like me than those that send in there money for fame.
So what really is the #1 Kudu or Bushbuck truthfully, we will never know from an SCI book for that reason. If I remember right, I think the #1 Kudu in Rowland Ward was found on train tracks. Now that is a celebration of an animal and not a paid plaque or position.
 

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I'm not standing up for SCI or the aggrieved party, BUT we must remember that the Ethics committee is there to hear complaints of unethical activity. They are not hunt cops or trophy clearance attorneys.

I don't mean to be harsh, but if a guys isn't getting his trophies back, he needs to hire an attorney experienced in that area. SCI is not that person. While i do believe that SCI should listen to ethical complaints lodged (for free), i don't think they should be responsible for having to track down trophies or investigate complaints about being charged too much, etc. Clients have remedies in the law and in my opinion, it's not SCI.

In all reality, there are two or three attorneys out there who specialize in clearance issues and disputes with outfitters. I would think they would be the way to go. From the way it sounds (SCI charging because they are probably flooded with complaints) it is an area of the law i should check into!
 

Bushbuck

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Tom I agree with you. But to charge your own members a fee for doing nothing makes no sense. why would it matter how many complaints they are getting if they dont do anything about them.
 

Western Expedition

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Clarification

Hey Tom. I guess my point isn't clear. It's not about the trophies. I figured that out on my own.
  • It's about a U.S. booking agent knowingly sending a hunter to Zim on a dangerous game hunt with no PH in camp.
  • It's about the booking agent connecting a hunter with an outfit that had bought their license but didn't go through the PH training.
  • It's about the booking agent sending a hunter into an area not known for buffalo when the primary intention of the hunt was buffalo.
  • It's about the booking agent abandoning the hunter after things go bad with the PH. Leaving the hunter to figure out how to work with Zim Parks & Wildlife on their own to confirm the legality of the hunt and navigate through the export docs process.
  • And it's about SCI not being willing to do anything to protect its members from this guy unless someone spends $500 of their own dollars even though there is nothing to gain except to try and protect other SCI members from a bad businessman.
That's what this is all about.
 

Mike70560

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Eric,

I am assuming this is the same hunt with Arnold and Tshipa.

When you post all the facts with all of the names the truth comes out. I know Arnold was hammered pretty hard on another forum for some foolishness of his own doing. If you search Google with Arnold's name your original thread comes up on the first page for the whole world to see. The first item on Google about Arnold is from your website. That is far better than depending on an SCI ethics committee. You may try Dallas Safari Club as I am almost certain he exhibits there also.

This reinforces my stance about people posting hunts for sale to provide all of the information of where and who you will hunt with along with all of the details. You do not want to be handed off to someone you have not thoroughly vetted. It is important to check with SOAZ and ZPHGA to see if your Zim operator/PH is in good standing. Do not except any excuses, there are too many first rate operators in Zim. (Eric-this last paragraph was not for you as you know this better than anybody, but hopefully to help prevent this from happening to somebody else)

Hopefully your next hunt goes better.
 

enysse

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A lot of the people that volunteer their time and energy in SCI are smart and savy businessman. I mean to say this in the best way possible....I don't agree with some of the things they do....buy they are in the business of generating money for SCI. And yes they are cutting some corners.....and not everyone is happy about it....I know my friend and I agree with you Eric. But that being said we were out voted.

And if you ask the question long enough...they will tell you to volunteer your time and effort to change things. That means becoming a Board member and going to the meetings. It's a lot of sacrificing...but that's the way it is....SCI is always watching it's bottom line.
 

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Eric

The question you first came on here with was a very good one.
 

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